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John Jefferies is Group Managing Director of Laidlaw Solutions Limited. John led a management buy-out in 2003 when he acquired Laidlaw from Ingersoll Rand. John and his management team have since grown the business aggressively through a combination of organic growth, strategic acquisition and diversification of product offering. Prior to acquiring Laidlaw John was Managing Director of Knauf Insulation (formerly Owens Corning) and previously Group Finance Director of the Owens Corning International Building Materials business.
An Accountant by training and MBA qualified with strong General Management experience, John has an impressive record of strategic and operational leadership coupled with an appetite for customer focussed growth. A keen Golfer and an Everton fan, John looks forward to delivering further growth and profitability for Laidlaw Solutions Limited as the business continues to expand geographically, both nationally and internationally and through addition of a wider product and service offering.
As the current Treasurer and Executive Officer of The Guild, John welcomes the opportunity to support the President, Chief Executive and the wider GAI to help ensure we are well positioned from a financial perspective to achieve our operational plans and strategic goals.
Gary was appointed Chief Executive of the GAI on the 18th of February 2008.
Previously he has a regional Director for the National Federation of Builders for ten years where he was a member of the Chief Executive’s Group of the Federation, the senior management team which drove the strategic direction and policies of the organisation. He also had operational responsibility for the NFB’s membership in the London, Eastern and Southern regions; directing service delivery and recruitment and retention of members.
DipGAI, RegAI, MinstAI
Andy fell into Ironmongery after serving for 6 years in the Royal Navy. It was on the resettlement course that he met Construction Supplies Ltd and had 14 years learning his trade with them. It was there that Andy was first involved with the GAI when he took the 4 year course as it was then, and won the Roddy Campbell award in 2000 as the top scheduler that year.
From there he moved and had two small stints at George Boyd & Concept Hardware. During his time with George Boyd he joined the scheduling team with Dave Martin, a man that he is said to have learnt a great deal from. Andy later joined the Education Committee that he has been serving on for the last 6 years.
After Concept, Andy moved to join the Lloyd Worrall Group in Sheffield where he spent a good five years working under the direction of Paul Bellamy.
Having left Lloyd Worrall Andy was given the chance to become the Branch Manager of an old name in ironmongery, being Dryad Architectural in Leicester.
Andy states he is “Very happy to take over from Keith and hope that I can do as much as he has for the committee and the industry. I strongly believe that it is only through Education that we can have good ironmongers for the years to come.”
DipGAI Bronze medallist RegAI
Estelle joined the Education Committee to help develop the Continuing Professional Development programme when it was in its infancy and RegAI/CPD remains her core interest. To maintain market relevance and share in the face of competition, Estelle believes that ironmongery specification should be as professional as possible up to date with standards, cutting edge technology and innovation in the sector.
Home is in Rochester, Kent with her husband and three daughters.
After A levels she went to Art College and qualified as a Jeweller, working in Hatton Garden for a few years. The recession in the 1990’s saw her looking for another job closer to home and John Planck’s needed a junior, 6 months later Estelle was taking her first year GAI! – So here I am an ‘Accidental Ironmonger’.
Her current role for Yannedis is a varied one ranging from seeing architects to specify new projects through all aspects of the ironmongery package to completion of the building – programming the access control if necessary!
DipGAI (Prize Winner) RegAI MInstAI
Paul Johnson is currently the Commercial Manager for UNION Architectural Hardware and Adams Rite Europe. Both these brands are owned by the global leader in door opening solutions ASSA ABLOY. Paul joined ASSA ABLOY in 1999 after 8 years with Scottish Power where he initially trained in Retail Management and then progressed to manage electrical superstores throughout the UK. Paul started his career as a Deck Officer in the British Merchant Navy.
Paul joined the Executive Committee of the GAI in 2008. He enjoys the opportunity to contribute by providing a balanced view which ultimately could make a difference within the architectural ironmongery industry.
Mike is Dip GAI, and REG AI status works as Director for Architectural Ironmongery Business at Häfele (UK) Ltd and enjoys marking Exam papers for the Guild at all Levels.
Häfele (UK) is a new Guildmark member , At Häfele our aim is to always provide a high quality service to Architects and Specifiers, whether it is scheduling, technical advice or Network Approved CPD seminars”, “So I am pleased that the hard work and professionalism of our team has been recognised in the form of the Guildmark accreditation.”
Mike O’Brien has served the Education committee for a number of years, marking exam papers/course work books, and he also lectures on Inclusive Design on the Guild residential courses. His experience spans 37 years with Laidlaw Solutions Ltd – based out of their Salford offices. He specifically deals closely with the Specification market covering Laidlaw’s ever expanding product portfolio of Architectural Ironmongery, Door sets, Railings, Access Control and Automatic door operators.
Mike also plays a key role in the company’s GAI training, and is the key driver behind Laidlaw’s RIBA approved CPD’s.
“At Laidlaw we are very proud of our in-house training and development – one of our many strong core values. With the ever increasing market changes, we are dedicated to delivering the differing skill sets reflected by the demands of our customers – enabling us to deliver the best possible technical advice and service covering all aspect of our business and the industry. “
DipGAI (Silver Medallist) RegAI, MInstAI
Chris is an Education Committee member, examination sub-committee member and marker since 2005/6 academic year. In his opinion the Guild’s flagship is its Education programme and is very proud to be involved in its continued evolution.
Chris was born in Hull, and has lived for last 30 years in Howden, East Yorkshire. Currently employed as Sales Manager of the Hinges and Fittings Division at Nico Manufacturing Ltd, Clacton-on-Sea.
Chris cut his teeth in the industry at the family business in Goole, East Yorkshire, joining post A-levels in 1986. In a bid to further develop his career, joined Nico in 2001 as Northern Area Sales Manager on the Hinges & Fittings division – he now oversees the divisional sales operations in the UK and expanding Export markets.